NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The results of a telephone survey indicate that at any given time about 27 percent of people in the US are experiencing pain, according to a report published the Lancet medical journal.

The results, based on a survey of 3,982 Americans, also suggest that pain is more common and more severe in people with lower income levels or less education.

Overall, 28.8 percent of men and 26.6 percent of women surveyed reported experiencing pain, Dr. Alan B. Krueger, from Princeton University in New Jersey, and Dr. Arthur A. Stone, from Stony Brook University in New York report.

Pain severity generally increased with age, but leveled off between 45 and 75 years of age. No significant difference in pain severity was noted between men and women. In general, pain ratings fell as satisfaction with life or health increased.

Activities linked to higher than average pain ratings included lawn and garden work, caring for adults, involvement in medical care (for women), and sports and exercise (for men).

SOURCE: The Lancet, May 3, 2008.